by Joe Engel
My mom released the mail to the kitchen
table as if it blew there. “All junk,” she said
and asked us to help
with the trunk load of groceries.
My friend had just prodded
me enough that I pinned him to the carpet
before I hopped up and passed
through the kitchen before him.
Filled with the gloating of a boy
who had just overmatched another,
I grabbed an envelope, turned
and flung it through the light
to swipe him like a delirious bird, returning
to paper as it fell to the floor.
He buckled and clutched his eye
as my mother hurried over to look.
It was red with blood. A paper cut.
A strike of such a kind of luck
that every name he called me
in that minute was true.
When he stood, there was a word
in my mouth, all alone,
but my lips refused to move,
to bend for the injury I caused.
My mom put a towel on his eye,
and some ice as I backed up,
letting our friendship thin,
and started to form words, quietly
like that unopened envelope of offers,
on the other side of the room.
One Comment Add yours